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Crusaders team named for historic first match against Fijian Drua in Christchurch

The Crusaders are back home and preparing to play their penultimate match of the DHL Super Rugby Pacific regular season at Orangetheory Stadium on Friday night. Head Coach Scott Robertson has named his side for their inaugural clash with Fijian Drua, and it includes a number of changes from the team that ran out against the Brumbies in Canberra. 

George Bower (rested) and Codie Taylor (rib cartilage sprain) will sit out this weekend's game, meaning prop Finlay Brewis and hooker Ricky Jackson both have an opportunity to start in the front row. 20-year-old Zach Gallagher returns at lock to face the Fijian Drua, which sees Captain Scott Barrett move to the blindside. Tom Christie will start at openside flanker, while Ethan Blackadder completes the loose forward trio with a shift to No. 8. 

Richie Mo'unga, David Havili and Will Jordan will also sit out this Round 14 match, meaning Fergus Burke takes charge of the backline at first five-eighth, Jack Goodhue shifts infield to second-five eighth and Braydon Ennor - in what will be his 50th game for the Crusaders - moves to a starting role at Centre. Chay Fihaki will wear the 15 jersey in Jordan's absence, while Leicester Fainga'anuku returns to the left wing and George Bridge will provide cover on the bench. 

Kick off in the Crusaders match against Fijian Drua is 7:05pm, Friday 20th May at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch. The match will be televised live on Sky Sport. 

Crusaders team to play Fijian Drua:

1. Finlay Brewis
2. Ricky Jackson 
3. Fletcher Newell
4. Zach Gallagher
5. Sam Whitelock (VC)
6. Scott Barrett (C)
7. Tom Christie
8. Ethan Blackadder
9. Bryn Hall
10. Fergus Burke
11. Leicester Fainga'anuku 
12. Jack Goodhue (VC)
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Sevu Reece
15. Chay Fihaki   


16. Shilo Klein
17. Tamaiti Williams
18. Oli Jager
19. Dominic Gardiner
20. Corey Kellow
21. Mitch Drummond
22. Simon Hickey
23. George Bridge

Mental Health is a growing concern in Aotearoa, and our young people have one of the highest suicide rates in the OECD.  We’re partnering with Chemist Warehouse to support Mike King and the I am Hope Foundation, who are on a crusade to promote positive change around Youth Mental Health in our community. This week we want you to Take a Mate to the Footy – it's a chance for you to connect and check in on your friends to make sure they're ok.

Simply purchase a ticket to our game against the Fijian Drua this Friday, and you’ll get a ticket for free.  And, for every ticket purchased, Chemist Warehouse will donate $10 to the I am Hope Foundation, so they can continue the important work they do for young people in New Zealand. Click here to get your tickets!